3 Takeaways from NACE’s 2023 Job Outlook Report

In its annual Job Outlook Report, the National Association of Careers and Employers (NACE) (available to NACE members) has some interesting insights for recruiters and career services staff to be mindful of as we begin to make plans for 2023. Here are some takeaways for those in the "too long didn't read" (TLDR) camp.

More Hiring Than in 2022

Out of the employers surveyed, employers say they plan to hire 14.7% more new college graduates from the Class of 2023 than they did from 2022. This shows promise for the Class of 2023, with employers rating the job market as “very good” according to the NACE survey. This, as unemployment rate decreased to just 3.5% in September despite a potential recession and increased inflation rate. Additionally, for those with associate degrees, more than half of employer respondents have plans to hire students with these degrees, which NACE notes “is the highest percentage of employers with plans to hire these graduates over the past seven years” and has doubled from just three years ago.

Fall Is Key

While no surprise to career services professionals, fall continues to be the biggest recruiting season for not only full-time hiring, but interns as well. Survey employer respondents note that roughly two-thirds of their college recruiting happens in the fall, which continues the trend of campuses putting on their largest career fairs  during the fall, particularly after nearly two years of disrupted school years. This, includes a mix of in-person and virtual recruiting.

Top Qualities for Future Employers

Critical thinking and communication continue to be the two biggest competencies employers look for when recruiting, rating both as the “most important” skill they look for. However, “professionalism competency” was also rated as “very or extremely important,” yet only 48.6% rating graduates as proficient in this skill. Plus, problem-solving skills, ability to work in a team and a strong work ethic are what employers are looking for on a resume. This, in addition, to employers giving a competitive edge to those who have completed an internship within their organization, however any internship experience in their industry as a top deciding factor.

Year and year out, employers continue to ask career services professionals to ensure that candidates successfully enter the workforce with problem-solving skills, analytical/quantitative skills, and the ability to work as part of a team. These requirements of employers are in lockstep with the NACE’s Career Readiness Competency goals. Career services staff will need to help students successfully develop these career ready skills that help translate their internships, experiential learning opportunities, part/full-time jobs, and their life experiences into their resumes and cover letters. Career services professionals will need to continue to tell the story of their students and provide programming and resources to help students enhance their critical thinking, communication, and professionalism.

Career services staff continue to be in a unique position of connecting students with the right opportunities and employers while also being their student's advocates for those who are low-income, fall under a minority category, are first-generation, or facing other challenges. With Symplicity’s Experiential Learning module, institutions can customize their internship, apprenticeship, and co-op programs to meet the current employer demands. Plus, with Symplicity Pathways, offices can set up structured career plans to ensure students are gaining valuable competency skills to set them up for success.

Streamlining your systems to not only meet institutional standards, but also employer standards, Symplicity CSM has been a trusted collaborator for career services professionals for over 20 years. To learn more about CSM Pathways, EL Module, and more can help your institution, watch our video below or schedule a conversation.


Skills Gap, NACE, Skills Development, career readiness, Employer Engagement, on-campus recruiting, Virtual Career Fairs, Career Fairs, Soft Skills, early careers, early talent

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